Because Carlisle was the last English town before the Scottish border, in the days when the two countries were separate kingdoms, it developed importance as a military stronghold, and its castle is still relatively intact. Built in 1092 by William Rufus, and having once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots, it still houses the King's Own Border Regiment.
Carlisle is an ancient city, and the seat of the diocese to which it gives name. It is situated on a slight rise, in the Cumberland Ward, at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew, and Petteril.
An important center for trade, it is located 56 miles W. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 71 miles N. of Lancaster, 93 miles S. of Edinburgh, 119 miles N.W. of York, and 300 miles N.N.W. of London, at 54 deg. 52 min. north latitude, and 2 deg. 50 min. west longitude.
The Tullie House Museum, an award-winning museum, tells the story of the Border country, including much material on Hadrian's Wall, the Roman defensive structure which runs close to the city. Carlisle also has a cathedral and a racetrack.
Carlisle is represented in [[English Football League teams| English football league Division III]] by Carlisle United F.C.